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Program Structure

The Master's program encompasses a total of 120 credit points (abbr. CP) and subdivides into modules which as a rule comprise several interconnected forms of teaching and learning.

These 120 credit points are distributed over a number of areas, each consisting of a set of modules:

Synchronization area

12 credit points

Core area

43 credit points

Specialization area

35 credit points 

Master’s thesis

30 credit points (including research project, participation in a colloquium and presentation of the thesis findings)


The synchronization area, totaling 12 CP, establishes a common foundation for the Master’s degree in fields that students may not be familiar with from their respective Bachelor’s degree programs. It includes the following modules:

    • Geological Foundations (6 CP)

    • Computational Methods (6 CP)

    • Physical and Mathematical Foundations (6 CP)


To earn the mandatory 12 CP in this area, students are asked to complete 2 of these modules, selected by criteria based on the credit points earned in respective subjects during their Bachelor’s degree programs.

In the core area, the following modules have to be completed by all students

  • Introduction to Planetary Sciences and planet formation (9 CP), 

  • Principles of GIS and remote sensing (6 CP),

  • Planetary physics (6 CP),

  • Planetary atmospheres and climate (6 CP),

  • Insights into current research (6 CP)

  • Insights into the professional and research landscape (10 CP).


The specialization area, totalling 35 credit points, allows in-depth studies of specific fields through a choice of elective modules. 

  • Planetary exploration: space missions (5 CP)

  • Planetary exploration: methods and instrumentation ( 5CP)

  • Planetary surface processes and morphology (5 CP

  • Advanced remote sensing of the Earth (10 CP)

  • Introduction to advanced geodata analysis (5 CP)

  • Celestial mechanics (5 CP)

  • The outer solar system (5 CP)

  • Magnetospheres (5 CP)

  • Satellite-based meteorology (10 CP)

  • Planetary evolution and habitability (5 CP)

  • Exoplanets (5 CP)

  • Geophysical modeling of planets and moons (5 CP)

  • Numerical methods in geosciences and planetary sciences (5 CP)

  • Meteorites and the formation of terrestrial planets (5 CP)

  • Laboratory methods for the analysis of planetary materials (5 CP)

  • Planetary field trips (5 CP)

  • Several modules with current special topics (each 5 CP)


Students write their Master's thesis in English during the fourth semester. After completion it is defended through a presentation and oral examination. WIth suitable scientific supervision, the Master's thesis can be written in cooperation with, for example, a scientific research facility outside Freie Universität Berlin.